Remembering Road Maps Display
In today’s digital world, we’ve become accustomed to getting where we’re headed by pulling up MapQuest or Google Maps on our phone or by using a GPS that guides us to our destination; however, that hasn’t always been the case. Since the advent of automobiles, motorists have needed to know how to get to their destination. For decades travelers have relied on paper maps.
Maps were given away by local gas stations, convenience stores, tire companies, banks, tourist bureaus, chambers of commerce, rental car companies, and many other businesses. Many of these businesses provided these maps as a form of advertising to get customers to visit their attraction or gas station brand.
Learn more about this noteworthy collecting topic and view examples of early maps.
This display is guest curated by the Road Map Collectors Association.
Why on Earth would someone collect roadmaps?
- Preserve a slice of history and geography of that same Earth.
- Study road systems.
- Enjoy the variety of graphic arts used overtime to attract attention.
- Enjoy petroliana (products and advertising relating primarily to gas stations and oil companies.)
- Use maps to discover where gas stations were located – as listed or shown on the maps.
- Enjoy classic advertising styles.
- Old maps and old cars are totally related.
- Collect maps of your home region.
- Collect maps from your important years.
What kinds of maps do people collect?
Since so many maps have been issued, collectors often specialize. Here are the different types of maps available:
- Particular countries, regions, states, provinces, counties, and cities – folding maps and atlases.
- Gas station maps – all brands, several, or just one, then every map issued or one of each cover design.
- Maps with gas station locations listed or shown on the map
- Particular graphics style, Art Deco, maybe?
- Scenic covers either artwork or photographic
- Special event or commemorative such as World Expos, Olympic games.
- Cruising guide maps
- Themes, such as cars or animals, on the cover
- Particular publisher
- Particular highway, US 66, Lincoln Highway
- Recreational area maps
- Toll Road Maps
Content provided by Road Map Collectors Association
How do you date roadmaps? Where can you find them? Who gave away road maps? When were maps issued? These and many other questions can be answered by visiting the display here at the AACA Museum, Inc. Take along your “Guide to Road Maps” from the Road Map Collectors Association when you visit!